The City of Charlottesville is closing all of its public schools today after alleged threats of racial violence surfaced online. Authorities did not say what the threats were, but the Washington Post reported images circulating on social media sites referring to a post on 4chan, an anonymous online messaging board, that “included a racist meme, used slurs for blacks and Latinos, and threatened to attack students of color at Charlottesville High.”
I’ll lay five-to-one odds that the threats are a hoax. The incident has many of the earmarks of racial hoaxes described in the book, “Hate Crime Hoax,” by Wilfred Reilly, an African-American professor at Kentucky State University.
One tip-off is that hate crimes reported on college campuses are almost always hoaxes. In this case, we’re talking about a college town, not a college campus. But we’re talking about an extremely “progressive” town where racial sensitivities remain acute a year and a half after the infamous United the Right rally. The white supremacists, almost none of whom were actually from Charlottesville, have long since dispersed, but memories remain vivid, citizens cultivate their sense of victimhood — a link from the Washington Post article reads, “A year later, Charlottesville remains a wounded city” — and students are radicalized politically.
The response has followed a pattern seen all over the country in which alleged hate incidents are used to call attention to systemic racism. Writes the Post:
This week’s online episode did not surprise members of Charlottesville High’s Black Student Union, who say it is symptomatic of persistent issues in Charlottesville City Schools, including excessive police presence in schools and a lack of black students in advanced classes.
“We’re still allowing this kind of racism in our school,” said Althea Laughon-Worrell, an 18 year-old who attends Charlottesville High School. “It’s making it seem like it’s okay for whoever posted that to say that, to feel that way. . . . It is because of racism, and because we haven’t dealt with this, that this person decided to post this.”
Zyahna Bryant, president of the Black Student Union, has called on the community to reckon with white supremacy in the aftermath of the 2017 rally and confront gentrification and the paucity of affordable housing in the city.
Bryant, 18, wants the latest episode to encourage community members to grapple with racial inequities in the school system.
“There needs to be a real conversation about how students of color are being supported,” Bryant said. “It is dangerous to continue to categorize racism as just person-to-person experiences without calling attention to the systems that work to uphold and enforce racist policies.”
Charlottesville schools a cesspool of racism? Really? Charlottesville schools are arguably the most politically “progressive” in the commonwealth of Virginia. The Post quotes a number of hand-wringers, all decrying hate and racism.
Rosa Atkins, school superintendent, weighed in with this quote:
We would like to acknowledge and condemn the fact that this threat was racially charged. We do not tolerate hate or racism. … The entire staff and School Board stand in solidarity with our students of color — and with people who have been singled out for reasons such as religion or ethnicity of sexual identity in other vile threats made across the country or around the world. We are in this together, and a threat against one is a threat against all.
Nowhere in either the Washington Post or Daily Progress accounts of the incident does anyone even consider the possibility that the incident might be a hoax.
Reilly, who has compiled a database of hate crime incidents, estimates that between 15% and 50% of all so-called hate crimes are hoaxes. Some are idiosyncratic in nature, but most are ginned up by leftist activists with a point to make. As one wag said, the demand for hate crimes far exceeds the actual supply, so leftists seeking confirmation of their world view have to invent them.
My suspicions may be misguided. According to the Daily Progress, police have yet to identify the poster. Indeed, they have not determined if the individual was an adult, student or someone who lives in Charlottesville, But hoaxes are so widespread that everyone needs to chill out and await the results of the Charlottesville police investigation before jumping to conclusions.There are currently no comments highlighted.